Once the emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is overcome, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are estimated to return to the upward trend seen before the health crisis began.
Syphilis was a witnessed case. Since 2010, incidence rates have increased steadily nationwide: the number of cases quadrupled from 2013 to 2018, peaking in 2019. It dropped significantly in 2020 and began to rise in 2021.
“Forecasts for the 2022 record allow us to assume that by 2023 This trend will be close to pre-pandemic numbers“Proclamation No. 39 warns that Argentina deals with HIV and sexually transmitted infections.
Most sexually transmitted infections develop Skin disease manifestations At some stage in its development, the Argentine Society of Dermatology (SAD), which is launching its second information and awareness campaign on sexually transmitted infections, warns that this is a global health problem.
The initiative was launched on Monday, in world sexual health day, which will last until Friday. Inspiring “comprehensive prevention and control strategies” Early consultationgiven that some STIs can be easily cured if caught and treated promptly, thus avoiding serious health consequences.
What are sexually transmitted infections
A sexually transmitted infection, as the name suggests, is an infection that is passed from one person to another during sexual intercourse (vaginal, anal, or oral). Still no penetrationthrough blood, semen, and vaginal fluid.
They can also be transmitted vertically (during pregnancy or childbirth). Some viruses, such as syphilis, cross the placenta and infect the baby in the womb, while others, such as gonorrhea, chlamydia and genital herpes, can be transmitted to the baby at birth through the vaginal tract.
Infections may be caused by: Viruses, bacteria and parasites. The most common are: syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, human papillomavirus (HPV), genital herpes, trichomoniasis, hepatitis B and C, and HIV.
They affect everyone: men and women, of any age and sexual orientation.important to know Once infected they do not develop immunitywhich is why a person can be infected with the same virus repeatedly.
Why are sexually transmitted infection cases increasing?
Experts who make up the campaign’s coordinating committee have listed a range of factors that have contributed to the rise in cases in recent years, including: An increase in risky practices, such as Use dating appsconsumption of legal and illegal drugs, and especially a decrease in protective measures during sexual relations.
“This change in trend is related to Improve prognosis The increase in the number of people living with HIV following the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) appears to have resulted in some relaxation added Viviana Leiro, Director of the Department of Dermatology at Muñiz Hospital, Scientific Secretary of SAD and Advisor to the STI Group.
What are the signs and symptoms of sexually transmitted infections?
Although sexually transmitted infections do not always cause symptoms, the most common ones are:
- Injury to the genital, anal, or oral area, with or without pain
- Discharge of pus from the genitals (vagina and penis) or anus
- Genital or anal discharge is different from usual.
- Warts on the genitals (vagina and penis) or anus.
- Nodes become inflamed.
If any of these signs or symptoms occur, it is important to Make a query It’s important for health professionals to survive SAD.
How to Test for Sexually Transmitted Infections
Sexually transmitted infections may cause no symptoms, especially in women.Therefore, sometimes they are only Gynecological, urological, and proctological examinations or through laboratory research.
“Getting tested is the only way to determine if someone has an STI. Take exams regularly It also provides protection by allowing you to identify if you have an STI and receive appropriate treatment to stay healthy and avoid infecting others,” SAD stressed.
Again, it’s important that they emphasize that Communicate with both spouses Diagnosis of STIs. And, if pregnant, it’s important that both parents get tested.
Syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia
Announcement No. 39 on Argentina’s response to HIV and STIs focuses on the three most common bacterial STIs in Argentina and around the world: syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia.
“The younger age group, Between 15 and 24 years oldThe document highlights that, with the exception of HIV (which is older), notification rates and positivity rates continue to show the highest values and greatest increases”.
“While a preponderance of women was observed in notifications, this is partly due to the distribution of infection and partly because they have easier access to diagnosis and care, so there is a need to promote improved strategies Men’s access to health systems“
what is syphilis
Syphilis is an infection caused by Treponema pallidum (TP) bacteria and is spread primarily through sexual and vertical contact (during pregnancy or childbirth). Its evolution is divided into several stages: primary, secondary, serological or latent and tertiary.
called sores or ulcers Chancre This is its first manifestation. It usually appears in the mouth, anus, penis, or vagina. “Generally speaking, it is painless and will heal on its own, so sometimes patients do not consult, or are misdiagnosed after consultation, and are not given the correct treatment. Even if the lesions disappear, the disease will continue to progress. Even if there are no symptoms, in The infection can also spread during this stage,” explains Lello.
Through the bloodstream, treponemes can spread throughout the body, which begins the most “flowering” phase of the infection, the second phase, known as “Great emulator” Because it can appear in a variety of forms, the appearance of spots is distributed in different parts of the body, often on the palms and soles of the feet, on the mucous membranes of the mouth and genitals. There are also symptoms such as warts on the genitals (vagina and penis) or anus; hair loss and lymph node inflammation, and even pharyngitis.
If the infection is not treated, the lesions (if present) will disappear spontaneously and the infection will remain “dormant” for a long time, detectable only by laboratory testing.
A few years later, stage three occurs, and symptoms may include difficulty moving arms and legs, Paralysis, numbness, blindness and heart disease. One to four untreated patients may have neurosyphilis at any stage of the disease.
“If you have congenital syphilis, fetal death may occur, or the newborn may become seriously ill or die at birth,” the SAD warns.
what is gonorrhea
Gonorrhea is caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae. This is a very common infection, especially among young people aged 15 to 24 years. It can cause infections of the genitals, rectum, and throat.
For men, it can cause pain or burning when urinating, White, yellow, or green discharge Pain or swelling in the penis or testicles (although this is less common). In women, increased vaginal discharge and vaginal bleeding during menstruation may occur in addition to urinary symptoms. It may also occur without symptoms.
What is chlamydia
It is caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. If symptoms occur, they are similar to gonorrhea (pain and burning during urination, genital discharge).
How are sexually transmitted infections treated?
Most infections are treatable, and many of them can be cured if caught early. “Home remedies don’t cure them Nor are those prescribed to acquaintances or family members,” Lero warned.
Other diseases, such as herpes simplex and HIV, can Treat, control and make infections chronic.
“Some plans cover free treatment Many sexually transmitted infections. Generally, treatment is short-term, effective, and can interrupt the chain of infection. “
How to prevent them?
Most STIs can be prevented by using condoms or latex condoms from the beginning. the entire sexual relationship and all sexual relations, including oral sex.
“Condoms are the only method of contraception that protects against sexually transmitted infections and are the only method that can be used by men with penises without causing any side effects on the female or male body. Use a male condom Can make latex fieldfor oral sex,” SAD stressed.
Likewise, the national vaccination calendar includes hepatitis B vaccine for the entire population, as well as free and mandatory HPV vaccine for girls and boys aged 11 years.
Comprehensive prevention strategy
Current approaches promote comprehensive prevention strategies, a response to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections that aim, on the one hand, to ensure Comprehensive service provision On the one hand it suits everyone’s reality, and on the other hand it helps achieve political structural transformation, such as reducing stigma.
Comprehensive prevention strategies include promoting the use of condoms and latex condoms, regular testing, and prevention before exposure (PrEP) and prevention after exposure (PEP) for possible HIV exposure.
Law No. 27,675 on the Comprehensive Response to HIV, Viral Hepatitis, Tuberculosis and Sexually Transmitted Infections guarantees free provision of prophylactics and lubricants, STI testing, access to PEP and PrEP.
The standards also consider recommendations, practices and structural conditions for risk reduction, CSE (Comprehensive Sexuality Education) and campaigns to reduce stigma and discrimination against people with HIV and other sexually transmitted infections or those who are more likely to be infected with HIV.
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